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A New Life for Waste Plastics

Biologics manufacturing involves plastics that can be challenging to recycle using conventional recycling services, such as gloves, tubing, filters, pipette tips and plastic drums.

In 2015, Amgen’s manufacturing facility in Rhode Island worked with a waste processing service to begin sending these plastics to a special facility where they could be processed into pellets that are used to make products such as curb material, pallets and park benches. Staff who felt passionately about reducing this waste stream advocated for this program as the right thing to do and Amgen agreed, even though there are costs to Amgen for this processing service.

In the first year, we recycled approximately 43 metric tons (MT) of plastics that would have otherwise gone to the landfill. In 2017, we matured the program and added waste plastics from other manufacturing processes. As of the end of 2017, we sent a total of 141 MT of plastics for recycling from this project.

In 2018, we installed park benches at our site in Rhode Island made from plastics recycled from our manufacturing processes, bringing those plastics full circle.

“We are proud to have been able to propose and implement a solution that helps promote environmental protection,” said Jim Rawley, Environment, Health, Safety and Sustainability manager. “Recycling these plastics helps reduce the amount of raw material used in certain products and reduces plastics in our waste stream.”